4 Questions Businesses Must Ask New Freelance Workers

Many corporations and businesses use freelancers to do side projects and long-term work. Companies are finding that outsourcing to freelance workers can be very beneficial. However, businesses who are looking to hire freelance workers need to keep in mind that not all will offer up quality work.

Ask these four questions to determine if a freelancer’s work really meets the standards you need.

1. What is your experience?

Can you find examples of their work online? Have they provided you a website or portfolio? If not, you might want to steer clear of them.

Good freelancers have an online portfolio and offer samples of their work upfront. If they are new at freelancing, they should still be able to offer samples of past work, either from volunteering or academic work. You wouldn’t hire an electrician without a good track record; don’t leave your projects to an inexperienced freelancer!


2. What are your rates?

If you want to work with a high-quality, professional freelance worker, ask what they charge. If they are skilled at their craft, the rates will be higher not only because they are providing a service with no out-of-pocket benefits, such as health insurance, from you, but likely have a more flexible schedule than your average worker. Pay attention to freelance workers’ rates to see if they value their work as much as you will when it’s complete.


3. How often do you communicate with your clients?

When working with a skilled freelancer, you will find them to be very communicative! High-quality freelance workers know the importance of getting a project done right the first time and will ask many questions or follow up on the project frequently. If your freelance worker communicates often, they truly care about their clients and are likely to provide high-quality work!

4. How do you market yourself?

When working with freelance professionals, especially those involved in marketing, social media management and writing, you must ensure that they are skilled in their area.

For example, if a freelance writer/social media manager has many misspellings on their website or use social media unwisely, they will likely provide similar work to you. Check their Facebook page and Twitter accounts to ensure good marketing practices! You might be surprised to find those that sound great in their email have little to no web presence.

Sources:
Cafe Witness: 5 Tips for Working with Freelancers (From a Freelancer)
The Writers Place: Working with Freelancers for the First Time
Production Crew: 5 Tips on Working with Freelancers

About Megan Harris

Megan is the owner of MeganWrites Media, a new freelance writing and editing company located in St. Louis, Missouri. With experience in many writing niches, as well as in research and social media management, she seeks to provide compelling content for her clients no matter their location.

Comments

  1. Megan Harris (MeganWrites Media) says:

    Alison,

    Thanks for your comment and feedback! I definitely agree that freelancers can and have misled employers with their portfolios. I find that when I am in discussions with a client and they require writing samples, it is better to give them a direct URL to my client work, such as a link to the site where it was published. They are more likely to be receptive of that work.

    Also, while I agree that time sheets are crucial, my tips are primarily for businesses going through the interview process with freelance professionals. Thus, providing an SSN or EIN might not be necessary right away. As a freelancer, I would prefer to have signed contract in hand before giving that sensitive information.

    Thanks again for your suggestions!

  2. Megan, I enjoyed reading your article. I was a freelancer for many years in the graphic design industry. I agree with everything you said even though when I freelanced there were no computers for online websites. Here are some pointers that came to my mind:
    1. A portfolio can be misleading more so off-line than on-line. I have heard of people actually stealing other people’s work saying it was their own.
    2. Time sheets are crucial, still. A freelancer that does not know about this and does not provide one with their SS or EIN # is showing their lack of experience.
    3. I believe that one key factor holds true for any freelancer, entrepreneur or business owner. One MUST have a business card.
    Thank you for your valuable pointers. If you would like to read about some of my experiences as a freelance graphic designer, you can go to:
    http://www.examiner.com/graphic-design-in-new-york/alison-gilbert

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